coalition warplanes are flying toward libya, to control its skies. and for the first time, u.s. commanders say they're using the jets to attack gadhafi's troops on the ground. it may be working. in the key eastern city of misrata, gadhafi tanks are beginning to retreat, after a week-long assault on civilians. in ajabia, where gadhafi forces boxed in civilians for days, rebels have newfound confidence. >> this is a matter of time. time only. after, maybe one day, these tanks will surrender. >> reporter: president obama said sending in u.s. troops on the ground is absolutely out of the question. u.s. forces are already scaling back flights over libya. coalition troops are now flying more than half of the missions. >> reporter: bombed but not broken, gadhafi appeared for the first time in public tuesday night. he rallied supporters and portrayed himself as a victim to western powers on a mission to steal libya's oil. he gave no hint he was giving up. >> gadhafi has basically sworn that he will show no mercy to anybody who has been in opposition. that's not exactly an invitation to negotiate.